ELEVATE helps the disabled


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March 31, 2016 6:00 AM

A new program has been launched across the prairie provinces that will help youths and adults with disabilities or health conditions looking to start their own businesses.
Aptly called ELEVATE, the program helps these types of entrepreneurs rise to the path of their own businesses in rural communities in Manitoba, Saskatchewan and Alberta.
ELEVATE can be found locally through Lloydminster and Area Community Futures, where interested applicants can be walked through the steps of the process.
It’s partially funded by the Government of Canada’s Opportunities Fund for Persons with Disabilities Program and gives help and resources to those who qualify and are looking to be self-employed.
“Entrepreneurship can be a great fit for many people with disabilities or health conditions,” said Susan Bater, ELEVATE manager for Community Futures in Manitoba, in a recent press release.
The government’s plan is for ELEVATE to help 120 participants achieve this goal in the next three years.
According to Statistics Canada, the country’s current unemployment rate is 7.2 per cent, with adults with disabilities coming in higher at 11.8 per cent.
Self-employment for persons with disabilities could be an attractive option to help reduce that percentage rate.
Bater also said, “You can set your own hours, create a personalized work environment, and most importantly, gain a sense of control over your destiny.”
Community Futures Saskatchewan deems ELEVATE as a way for people with disabilities to enjoy the rewarding experience of starting and expanding a successful businesses and be a leader in the communities where they live and work.
It’s also a way to take businesses skills and education to the next step with training and educational opportunities, as well as experience the joys and freedom of being one’s own boss.
Applicants can also use a range of services and financial resources to conquer business goals quicker than could be done alone with the living, childcare and travel expenses they may be eligible for.
Some of the resources include experts and administrators that can help along the entrepreneurial journey in the likes of experienced business mentors, accountants and bookkeepers.
Those interested in the ELEVATE program can get started by getting in touch with Lloydminster and Area Community Futures to begin the application process.
Then applicants can go through an assessment period that helps find training and financial needs and any other accommodation requirements.
Community Futures will also guide interested entrepreneurs through the feasibility of their business plans and give business counseling if needed.
From there applicants can get help with their business plans from their Community Futures representatives, look at financing options and get in touch with a personal business mentor.
The next step is planning the business launch and execution of the business plan with a Community Futures rep making suggestions and keeping the soon-to-be business owner on the right path to success.
So for any local business minded persons with disabilities interested in being one of the 120 participants to take on the program, contact Community Futures at 780-875-5458 and check for eligibility.

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